Welcome to the page of the Provincial Safeguarding Office.
This is the place to get information and access resources on how to we protect vulnerable people in the Scottish Episcopal Church.
My name is Donald Urquhart and I am the Provincial Safeguarding Officer. It is my responsibility to support and assist congregations to make the Church and the Church communities safe places for everyone but in particular for those who are vulnerable. I am assisted in this work by Daphne Audsley, the Assistant Provincial Safeguarding Officer, and an Administrative Officer, based here at the General Synod Office in Edinburgh. We are supported by Diocesan Protection Officers based in the Church’s seven dioceses, the various local church safeguarding co-ordinators working in the churches throughout the SEC, and the members of the Provincial Safeguarding Committee.
I assist and support churches to deal with concerns about and reports of safeguarding issues in the church and make decisions on the suitability of people to work with those who are vulnerable in the Church. My colleague, Daphne, deals with compliance matters relating to ensuring that all those who work and volunteer for the SEC comply with the various legal requirements that relate to protecting the vulnerable with a particular focus on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme and PVG related issues. We also prepare and deliver training on all aspects of Safeguarding in the SEC.
However, it is important to remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the vulnerable and all those working in and using the range of services the SEC provides have an important part to play in creating and maintaining a safe and supportive culture within the Church that protects all, regardless of the nature of their vulnerability. Together we can ensure that the SEC is a safe place for people to come and worship and, when concerns are identified, people are listened to and are dealt with properly and promptly.
The two Provincial Safeguarding Officers are based at the General Synod Office in Edinburgh are here to assist and support you in protecting the vulnerable and if you need to contact us, our details are listed below.
Donald Urquhart, Provincial Officer – Tel – 0131-225-6357/07702-793553
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Responsible for assisting and supporting churches to deal with concerns about and reports of safeguarding issues in the church and making decisions on the suitability of people to work with those who are vulnerable in the Church.
Daphne Audsley, Assistant Provincial Officer – Tel – 0131-225-6357
E-mail – DaphneA@scotland.anglican.org
Responsible for compliance matters relating to ensuring that all those who work and volunteer for the SEC comply with the various legal requirements that relate to protecting the vulnerable with a particular focus on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme and PVG related issues.
Ministry to children, young people and vulnerable adults is a cherished and important part of the work of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Every week, substantial numbers of people, some of whom are vulnerable in one way or another, visit church premises for worship or for social and recreational activities. Much of the Church’s ministry to them is only possible because of the dedication of the large numbers of volunteers who place their time and talents at the service of the Church.
We cannot ignore that there are some individuals in our society who represent a threat to the vulnerable. To acknowledge that the Church is not exempt from such threats is not to scaremonger, nor is it to suggest that those involved in a paid or voluntary capacity with such work are under suspicion. Rather, it reflects our desire to provide as safe and as happy an environment as we can in which the vulnerable can enjoy and explore Christian commitment.
The policies, codes of practice, information and advice in these pages are intended to assist in implementing the Church’s policies on promoting a safe environment for all who access the Church’s services but in particular those in our Church communities who are most vulnerable.
These Policies, Procedures and Codes of Good Practice recognise the special status of children, young people and vulnerable adults and the duties that are required of people in the Church in respect of them. Implementation of the Codes of Good Practice is intended to give vulnerable people the care and protection they deserve, and it should give those with the day-to-day responsibility of caring for the vulnerable the reassurance that all individuals are safe and protected in the Church’s groups and activities. It will also help safeguard the Church’s staff and volunteers from false allegations that might arise out of misunderstandings and it should reduce the risk of the Church being found liable for circumstances of abuse.
NOTE – Following the Church’s Safeguarding Audit, conducted in 2018/19 and presented to the General Synod in 2019, a group is currently undertaking work to implement the recommendations from the Audit. The Safeguarding Policy (2020) below is the first outcome of this work and the remaining publications, guidance and good practice material are in the process of being updated to reflect this work. Until that work is completed, references to policies relating to child protection and protecting vulnerable adults should be read in the context of the new, 2020 Safeguarding Policy. The content in the various publications remains accurate in other respects but any queries should be referred to the Provincial Safeguarding Officers.
Summary of Good Practice Cards
Hard copies of all of the above are available to Vestries free of charge from the General Synod Office.